Physical Training Oct 2006
Our Sponsor, SDKsupplies

Requirements for a Suitable Education for Budo Sensei

copyright © 2006 Roberto González Haramboure. Ph.D, all rights reserved


The present article gives a summary of the information and experience that we have been able to compile in different geographic locations with respect to the characteristics, components, and services relating to the development of professors of martial arts.

We have noted, in our previous work, that the context of the education is made up of three fundamental aspects:

- The people in charge who plan, apply and evaluate the process (professors)
- The educational process to apply in itself (the teaching)
- The people who receive the influences of the process (students)

It is known that, in modern society, the martial arts gain a greater influence every day, due to acceptance of them in themselves for their motivational component or for their benefits (or both?). In that sense one has seen an increase in the number of students of different ages and sexes. Consequent with this growth is an increase of those who are in charge (the professors).

But an important aspect that, as much from the academic point of view as the administrative, is related to all those components, is the institutions in which this process is carried out. In that sense two groups of institutions exist:

- Those in which the students form
- Those in which the professors form


With respect to the first we see that there are an infinity of schools, without regard to the art at issue, style, line or other indicator of specialty.

With respect to second it is stated that:

- They do not have the same representativeness of the first type.
- Very frequently the teachers are developed within the dojo, where the technical and philosophical aspects are specifically prioritized. In this case the training diminishes (often obviously) other very important aspects which affect the teacher's later performance.
- On the contrary in other institutions (like Pedagogical Universities or Institutes of higher learning) these other aspects are sure to be taught, but the specific technical and philosophical aspect of an art is diminished (sometimes obviously).
- In other institutions (for instance Schools of Sport Trainers) we see that they have tried to integrate both spheres.

Despite the best efforts, it has been possible to state that the main objectives have not been met in full.

If we ask the people who attend martial arts dojo (something we have already done in diverse geographic areas) the reasons that induce them to follow that way, the main answers (depending on age and sex among other aspects) are:

- To became a champion
- To became a black belt
- To raise self-esteem
- To ensure self-defense
- To increase muscle development
- To increase self discipline
- To lower weight
- To eliminate stress

Based on those criteria we are sure that, with professors trained more and more integrally, it will be possible to meet these expectations since not only will the education take place in more favorable conditions to form more and better champions, educate the students better, and reduce or eliminate stress and overweight bodies; but that it will also enable the martial arts to be used in other directions like:

- Developing psychomotricity in children and to harness its development.
- Complementing intellectual development by stimulating the qualities related to the learning processes, analysis, synthesis, induction, deduction, concentration of the attention and abstraction.
- Integrating into programs of psycho-physiological rehabilitation

But inevitably, for the professor to be totally enabled (and updated) to carry out such important functions, they must have previously journeyed by a pertinent process of formation. That is to say, they must have received a good curriculum. Deepening that idea further, the curriculum should be a: “structured series of knowledge and experiences of learning, of intentional form articulate with the purpose of producing learning that is translated into forms allowing the teacher to think and to act on concrete problems”.

Following this reasoning, it is recognized that curriculum can only act correctly when it has a pertinent design, in this case when it consists of one: “that gives favorable answers to the exigencies of the scientific-technical developments of the time, the social system and the ones derived from the professional activity”.  This means that the curriculum must totally agree not only with the specific activity taught, but with the historical moment and space in which the training will be carried out. Not to consider those aspects will constitute an error that would make the process fail, as other authors have mentioned: “One of the problems of great importance than faces education at present is related to the criteria of selection and organization of the scientific-technical information in plans and training programs, to the selection of the routes and the methods in agreement with the learning aims. That's why one of the inescapable questions when organizing and creating the education process is the determination of the contents, their selection and structuring, systematization, their ordering according to certain criteria, and their metering”. This means that the professor must dominate to fullness two fundamental aspects:

- What to teach (related to the contents)
- How to teach (related to the methods)

Over that base, we will enumerate some of the contents, activities and services that must be offered in the Schools of Professors of Martial Arts.

Proposal of solutions

1. Enabling new Professors:

The main subjects to treat would be the following ones:

These thematic subjects will provide new professors with the main integral theoretical-methodological-practical arsenal that it will allow them to begin their educational-educative work and the corresponding acquisition of their first experiences as pedagogical-professionals.

2. Updating and advancing the instructor past the basical level (dojo).

In this phase one is must approach with greater depth the subjects previously treated, as well as these new subjects:

In this phase the new trainers will increase and deepen their integral theoretical-methodological-practical arsenal that will allow them to reinforce their educational and educative work, enabling them to work with a view to the fulfillment of more demanding objectives. It will be possible, since they will be in better conditions to take care of the personnel under their direction, to search for new students with a view to maintaining the stability of the attained goals and profits or, preferably to surpass them.

3. Updating and improving trainers for high performance (Head Coach of Competitive Teams).

In this phase all the subjects previously treated are studied with greater depth, as well as a new subject introduced:

On this aspect multiple contents could be developed, but in this case what is asked for was the subject of part of my doctorate thesis and consists of the application of special therapies of  psycho-physiological intervention to training, to intensify the benefits, to complement recovery from the loads and to prevent injuries. This strategy was demonstrated to be competitively effective in obtaining very superior sport yields and results, with far less working time and resources invested in the preparation process. Its application has allowed me to obtain great results and recognition, and at the moment it is being applied successfully in multiple sports and countries in which I have developed courses on the matter agreeing with the respective requests. 

4. Enabling, updating and improving the support personnel for the professors (physical trainers, psychologists, physiotherapists)

Those topics will guarantee to supporting personnel of sensei or trainers, the main theoretical-methodological and practical arsenal that allow them to began or go about their duties in an effective way, actively helping to achieve higher competitive results without mental or physical injuries in athletes.

5. Enabling, updating and improving methodological and scientific personnel.

Those topics will guarantee to sensei or any other scientific personnel the main theoretical-methodological and practical arsenal that allow them to began or go about their duties producing and transmitting knowledge and experiences in an effective way, and for this contribution to identify a better line of work that allows the achievement of the best benefits with less investment in time and effort.

This also includes the organization of events in which sensei and other persons will be able to exchange and publish ideas, projects and criteria to promote martial arts for general use.

6. Classification of sensei according their professional competencies level.

For this, although it is true that there are many defining criteria, as a generalization we have adopted a system designed by myself and an international expert team, which has been scientifically and practically proven, and which has been used for a doctorate thesis of a student of mine. This system allows us to organize sensei in 6 different categories according to the satisfaction of many integral requirements for correct pedagogical duty, with the consequent delivery to the corresponding teachers of a degree level or pedagogical rank.
This system, by establishing different categories, is an effective way to evaluate and select sensei in a practical and objective manner.
7. Classification of athletes according their competitive results:

This is like the system mentioned before, but less known and used internationally. In this case we have designed a system that, according to competitive results, makes it possible to organize athletes into 7 different categories from competitive dojo to a world championships.

8.  Pre-graduate and Post-graduate activities.

It is known that martial degrees and titles are mostly not recognized in educative institutions. For that reason it would be very useful to establish contracts with universities and other relevant centers, in order to offer sensei equivalent curricula and therefore allow them to obtain an official certificate. 

Neccessary closing words.

So far, after the corresponding analysis of the specific situation, we have described the contributions we have made to several institutions who have asked for our services, and which consequently  have enjoyed the benefits. Nevertheless we neither say that our way is the best or the only way, nor do we want to minimize the work of any other colleagues. On the contrary, in the present article we have shared the knowledge and experiences that we have accumulated, those that day by day we put on the interested hands of persons that, like I do, try to help the development of this beautiful world of martial arts for the benefit of mankind.  If this goal is achieved, this article and my work, has satisfied its expectations.

Our Sponsor, SDKsupplies
Physical Training Oct 2006